From the Boys' and Girls' Mission Page of the June/July 1918 issue of Manna:
A Youthful Sufferer
By Sr. d. N. D.
In the orphanage of Tainoura, in the Gota Islands, Japan, lived Mary O Hatsu who came from the village of Aloghi. The missionary, thinking she was old enough to work her way through life, sent her to her native village. Here a veritable martyrdom awaited her, and poor Mary had to undergo many severe trials.
Her new home was with her younger sister, whose husband was not only a perfect stranger to Mary, but proved to be a cruel host. He tried in every possible way to compel her to give up the true faith. Since beating and abuses failed to bring about the desired change, her persecutor took from her her rosary, scapular and medal, denied her all time for prayer and for works of charity, and forced her to live in a miserable little hut. Here a half-decayed straw mat was her only resting place. Twice daily her cruel sister would bring her two or three cold potatoes. During the entire winter Mary remained in this prison without fire, without warm clothing, without comfortable covering for the night, almost dying of hunger and cold. All communication with the Christians was denied her. Although she was near a Chapel, she was not allowed to enter it. She had asked permission to visit the priest, to go to Confession, and to assist at the Holy Sacrifice; yet all her pleadings were of no avail.
One evening, thinking all the inmates of the house asleep, Mary quietly left her prison and took the path leading to Windzunoura. Soon, however, she heard a heavy footstep. She turned, only to see a bold figure bearing a lantern, and to hear a familiar voice calling her, uttering fearful threats if she refused to return. Mary stood motionless. The thought of the cruel beatings completely overpowered her. She was so near the missionary! She had not received the sacraments for so long! What happiness to be in the company of Christians again! Strengthened by the conviction that she was doing right, she resolutely set out for the chapel, where she poured out her soul in loving complaint to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She next sought that “peace which the world cannot give”—the peace to be obtained in the Sacrament of Penance. How she longed to remain in the Chapel all night! But—she must make the sacrifice and offer her sufferings instead. Reluctantly she tore herself away and courageously returned to her prison.
Her brother-in-law, with cruel impatience, awaited her return. He threw her on the floor, trampled upon her and beat her so violently that for eight days Mary could scarcely move a limb. The missionary heard of these outrages through a sympathetic neighbor and resolved to take Mary back to the “Mission House of the Holy Childhood.”
Once back in Tainoura, Mary cried for joy, thanking God daily for the grace of perseverance in suffering and for having found a heaven on earth in her dear mission home.